University gets $5 million for brain research
“ We are grateful to the McKnight Brain Research Foundation for this generous gift that will significantly enhance our progress toward understanding and alleviating the age-related changes in memory and brain function,” says John G. Clarkson, senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.
The gift from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation will enable the School of Medicine to recruit a world-class cognitive neuroscientist who will lead a team of scientists, researchers, and clinicians in exploring not only normal memory changes that happen with age, but the cognitive defects produced by various brain-related diseases.
That population is growing daily: By the year 2030 it is estimated that nearly 25 percent of Americans will be 65 or older, with millions suffering some form of memory loss.
The gift will stimulate an already active collaboration between clinical research and basic neurosciences. The School of Medicine’s Center for Cognitive Neurosciences takes a multi-departmental approach to studying the aging brain. The award also will be used to present local, regional, and international workshops on the brain for educational and research purposes.
Founded in 1999, the McKnight Brain Research Foundation supports research toward the understanding of memory and the specific influences of the natural aging process. Evelyn McKnight, who was a nurse, and her husband, William, were interested in the effects of aging on memory. William McKnight was chairman of the board of the 3M Corp. for 59 years before his death in 1979. Evelyn McKnight continued to support his interest in brain research and memory loss until her death in 1999. Their commitment continues through the McKnight Brain Research Foundation.